While I’m not about the juice cleanse life, I do crave recipes like this Detox Soup when I’m in the mood for a little reset and a healthy dose of vegetables, fiber, and vitamins all in one bowl. This healthy and wholesome detox vegetable soup recipe is simple to make yet flavorful, satisfying and remarkably nutritious. Best of all, it will help your body feel energized and refreshed from the inside out.
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Why We Love This Detox Soup
As I said, I certainly don’t promote hard-core fasts or cleanses. But a “detox” that means eating more—specifically fiber-rich ingredients like those you’ll find in this tomato-kale soup?—now that’s a “reset” I can fully endorse.
This Detox Soup is a simple, wholesome lunch or dinner appetizer that’s easy to digest, hydrating and full of fiber (which helps you feel full). It’s also free of any foods that may cause inflammation such as gluten, dairy, soy, and corn. It’s a dream to share with those who follow nearly any diet, because this tomato-kale soup just so happens to be:
Overdoing it on sodium and falling shy on fiber are two of the most common pitfalls of the standard American diet. My detox vegetable soup addresses both of those things and will leave you feeling good. This soup is made with low-sodium broth, canned tomatoes, onion, fennel, fresh oregano, chickpeas and kale.
Aside from all the veggies, research proves that at least a little fat is required to help the body absorb as much of the micronutrients from the soup as possible (hence the term “fat-soluble vitamins”).
And since this detox vegetable soup is all about nourishing the body and keeping the process of digestion simple, I use extra-virgin olive oil for cooking the onions and fennel, and for finishing the soup right before serving. It’s heart-healthy, flavorful, and one of the best ingredients you can add to your daily menu.
In case you could use a little more motivation to add this detox vegetable soup to your menu this week, consider all of these health benefits (not to mention the fact that it’s drink-from-the-bowl delicious):
- Boosts hydration
- Reduces chronic inflammation
- Aids in the breakdown of internal toxins
- Boosts metabolism
- Promotes gut health
- Helps you feel full
- Decreases bloating
- Fennel: This hardy, aromatic piece of produce is part of the carrot family. It’s actually a perennial herb, though, not a vegetable. The bulb portion—which is the portion we use in this detox vegetable soup—somewhat resembles a white onion. Wash and chop the fronds (leaves) to use as a garnish, if desired.
- Onion: Yellow onion is my go-to, but a couple shallots would also taste incredible here.
- Red pepper flakes: Omit if you don’t dig a hint of spice.
- Oregano: I explain below how to use fresh or dried in this tomato-kale soup. Substitute rosemary or thyme if you like.
- Canned diced tomatoes in juice: Seek out a fire-roasted variety to infuse a subtle smoky note.
- Tuscan kale: Look for this labeled Tuscan, Dinosaur or Lacinato kale; they’re all the same. If you can’t find any of the above, regular curly-leaf kale will work just fine, too!
- Chickpeas: Aka garbanzo beans. A can of cannellini beans would also work well.
How to Make This Detox Soup
- Cook onions, fennel and aromatics in olive oil until softened.
- Add tomatoes (and their juices) and broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the kale and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add chickpeas and vinegar and cook until kale has softened. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper flakes, and vinegar.
- Drizzle servings with Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil and enjoy!
Test Kitchen Tips
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in a saucepan over medium-low heat or individual servings in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. Add additional water to thin as needed.
More Healthy Meals to Crave…
- These Mexican Rice Bowls made with rotisserie chicken are a weeknight lifesaver!
- This Salmon Niçoise Salad is loaded with flavor and oh-so satisfying.
- if you’re looking for a mind-blowingly delicious and satisfying salad, this French Lentil Spinach Salad is it.
- Jackfruit Banh Mi Bowls, I mean what else is there to say? Yum.
- A bowl of this Creamy Broccoli Soup can cure anything.
- 5-Ingredient Green Smoothie for when you need a hefty dose of vitamins and minerals and you’re on the go.
- Cherry Chia Smoothie is another great on-the-go breakfast or snack.
- This cozy and healthy Cabbage Soup is a winner!
This Detox Soup relies on chickpeas to be the main source of protein, keeping it completely plant-based. It isn’t overly high in protein, but it is jam-packed fiber, which does a wonderful job of making you feel full and also helps feed your good gut bacteria.
However, if you’d like to boost the protein content, you can add cooked and shredded chicken (like I do in this Quick & Easy Mexican Chicken Soup). Add it towards the end of cooking, and simmer the tomato-kale soup until the chicken is heated through. Or for a vegetarian-friendly protein boost, toss in cubes of firm tofu or top your bowl with a fried or poached egg.
Try scooping a serving over a cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa, or pair it with a side of warm crusty bread. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese (if you can have it) adds a lovely dose of umami.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for serving
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced (fronds reserved)
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)*
- 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (10-ounce) bag chopped Tuscan kale
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low.
- Add fennel, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in oregano and cook 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomatoes with their juices and broth, bring soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in kale, simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir in chickpeas and vinegar and simmer 5 minutes. Season soup with additional salt, pepper flakes, and vinegar to taste.
- Drizzle servings with olive oil and top with chopped fennel fronds.
This recipe and article were originally published on January 15, 2020.
My body is 100% craving this after the holidays! Can’t wait to try it out.
Craving all of the veggies lately this is exactly what my body needed, thank you!
This soup is amazing. Such an easy soup to make and I love that it makes so much! It’s a great soup to share with friends and have as leftovers. Love love
Served with rice like you suggested, so hydrating but still filling!
This is so delicious! I served it for guests in January and everyone appreciated it being so light and flavorful after rich holiday meals. Also freezes so nicely!
Aren’t tomatoes a night shade?
Yes, you’re right they are! I included them in this soup because not all people experience inflammation from consuming them (there’s also not been significant research evidence that supports the idea that nightshade cause inflammation).